Posted Sept. 28, 2012
By LAURA YEPES
CUTLER BAY, Fla. — On a normal Sunday afternoon, Yolanda Adams was laughing with her husband while she taught him how to line his fishing rod. Nearby, a large family sat on a picnic table enjoying the cooler-than-usual Miami weather.
Across from these families were others bringing in their boats from a long day out on the Biscayne Bay or the Atlantic Ocean. For many people these might seem like vacation activities, but for a South Floridian this could be any given weekend.
Tucked away, surrounded by mangroves in a corner of a neighborhood hardly anyone talks about, is a little South Florida secret where all this takes place. It is where residents of the area go to relax, have fresh seafood and even take out their boat.
To an outsider, the name Black Point Park and Marina does not mean anything but, to an insider, it is a little treasure of Miami that they would like to keep to themselves.
With the glitz and appeal of South Beach and plenty of other ways to be distracted in the Magic City, it is no surprise that even residents tend to forget there is something after Kendall and before the Florida Keys.
Located near Cutler Bay and Homestead, which is far better known for its fruity concoctions and its speedway, Black Point falls into this area known mainly as a residential area. While it may not be what a visitor comes to South Florida for, it is definitely a worthwhile experience to which frequent visitors can attest.
“I come here to clear my mind,” said Adams, 37, who lives near the park.
She was fishing off of the rocks, something she said she used to do a lot when she was younger with her family but had not done in a while.
Fishing is only one of the activities frequently engaged in at Black Point. Like the name implies, it is a park and a marina, so on any given day, especially Sundays, many families can be seen taking their boat out into the bay.
According to Assistant Dockmaster Angel Cabrera, these frequent boaters either go to one of the islands that make up Biscayne National Park, like Elliott Key, or even ride all the way to the Bahamas. There is a part of the marina that is privately owned called Loggerhead. The ramps to access the water are used by both the state-run marina and the privately owned one, but Loggerhead offers storage and protection for boats in a massive warehouse.
Across the ramps to the water is a jetty that stretches 1.5 miles into the bay. On this thin stretch of land there is a path upon which many visitors ride their bikes or simply take a walk for a relaxing afternoon. It is from this path where Adams and many other fishers throw their lines in hopes of catching a snapper, grunt, snook and, in rare occasions, maybe even a bass.
While some prefer to fish from the rocks, there are small decks that hang over the water, making it easier to catch something. These little areas even have a small table of sorts, where the fishers can cut up their bait or their catch.
For those who enjoy wildlife but not so up-close and personal, Black Point Park and Marina is also a good place to observe the many species native to South Florida in their natural habitat. Manatees are often seen swimming lazily through the waters, their huge tail occasionally breaking the surface.
For visitors this is quite a sight, and it is a great excitement when one does come close to the boat launching area. Signs are everywhere warning boaters to drive slowly through there, though, so as not to harm the gentle mammal.
Cabrera also warned that salt water crocodiles frequent the area. Because of the danger they pose, management highly recommends that no one go swimming in the water.
“We do not recommend it, we do not allow it,” she said. “Sometimes they swim very close to the rocks.”
What can perhaps be considered the main attraction of Black Point for anyone who does not go there for boating or fishing, is the restaurant sitting right on the water Black Point Ocean Grill. Boasting fresh seafood and fair prices, it is a great hangout spot for residents and for anyone who wants a relaxing meal by the water.
Many customers rave about their blackened chicken sandwich and the calamari for an appetizer. According to the restaurant’s website, it offers the service of cooking freshly caught fish for a customer, so a fun trip idea to Black Point would be to go fishing and then head to the restaurant to enjoy your catch. This would also be the ideal spot for a night of entertainment for anyone who enjoys soft rock songs and American classics since most nights they have live performances and a crowd that is happy to sing along.
While a relaxing afternoon may not be what a tourist typically seeks in South Florida, Black Point Park and Marina does make that idea more appealing. For anyone who wishes to see more of the natural side of Miami, or to experience what living by the ocean is like, this is one of the best places to do so north of the Florida Keys.
IF YOU GO
- Black Point Park and Marina, 24775 SW 87th Ave., Homestead, Fla. 33032, 305-258-4092.
- Park is open from sunrise to sunset.
- Office hours: 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. seven days a week.
- The marina and boat ramps are open 24 hours.
- Black Point Ocean Grill, 24775 SW 87th Ave Homestead, Fla. 33032, 305-258-3918, 11 a.m.- 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, 11 a.m.- 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.